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Oct 28, 2017; Columbia, SC, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores players huddle before taking the field against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

College Footall Preview: Vanderbilt Hosts Western Kentucky

In their first home game in nearly a month, the Vanderbilt Commodores look to snap a five-game losing streak this weekend against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. This is the Commodores’ final non-conference game for this season and are 3-0 in games outside the SEC.

History Behind the Game

This game will conclude a three-game series between these two teams that started in 2015. The last two games between the Commodores and the Hilltoppers have yet to disappoint, coming down to the final play of the game. These teams are tied at one win apiece heading into Saturday. In the first meeting between these two, Western Kentucky came out on top, 14-12, after Vanderbilt was unable to covert a game-tying two-point attempt at the end of the game. Last year, the Commodores came out victorious after the Hilltoppers weren’t able to convert a game-winning two-point attempt in overtime. The final score to that game, 31-30.


This Vanderbilt team hasn’t been the same since they were clobbered by Alabama earlier in their season. The Commodores have lost five consecutive games to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, and, most recently, South Carolina. However, this weekend, they look to come back from those losses and get the W.

Vanderbilt Player Ralph Webb
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt has a few key players in their program that can lead them to victory this week:

Commodore QB Kyle Shurmur is having an impressive season so far, throwing for 18 touchdowns in his first eight games. He needs one more touchdown pass to equal Eric Jones for the fifth all-time touchdown passes at VU, and four more passes to equal Kurt Page, who is in the fourth spot.

Vanderbilt tailback Ralph Webb has surpassed multiple records during his time at Vanderbilt. Going into this weekend’s game, Webb has 3,781 rushing yards, the most in Vanderbilt’s history. He’s also currently ranked no. 6 on the Active NCAA Rushing Leaders board.

Western Kentucky

The Western Kentucky team from this season is unlike any Western Kentucky team from years past, according to College Football News. While the team has won four out of five of their most recent games, the wins are against four of the worst teams in college football. Last weekend, the Hilltoppers hopes of winning another Conference USA title was crushed when they lost to Florida Atlantic, 42-28.

Senior quarterback Mike White is one of the main reasons that the Hilltoppers offense has stayed the same since last year. Although this football program lost a couple of star players, his passing game is still ranked 16th in the nation with 309.4 yards per game.

White’s stats in last three games:

  • 1,073 passing yards
  • 13 touchdowns – 1 rushing

Game Info

You can watch this game on ESPNU on Saturday, November 4, at 12 p.m. EST/11 a.m UTC

About Lauren Cavasinni

North Carolina Native with a passion for sports. Follow me on twitter @lcavasinni11

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